Mushroom Barley Soup

Makes a large pot of soup

You can make this as a vegetarian soup, but it is also wonderful with lamb in it as well. If using raw lamb, add at the beginning; cooked lamb should be added after the barley is done. Try adding soy sauce or sherry to taste.

1 cup whole pearl barley, rinsed

2 qts/liters boiling home-made or other broth

2 sprigs fresh parsley

2 stalks fresh celery, diced

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic

1 or 2 lamb shanks, or 1 lb/500g lamb neck bones, stew meat, or leftover roast lamb (optional)

1 carrot, sliced

Salt and pepper to taste

1 lb/500g fresh white mushrooms, sliced

  1. In a large, heavy stew pot, combine the first group of ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 90 minutes until barley is tender. Raw lamb should be included in this step.
  2. If using raw lamb, remove the meat from the pot, separate from bones and return meat to pot.
  3. Add remaining ingredients. Correct seasoning and add sherry or soy sauce if desired. Continue to cook until carrots are tender.

Serve with crusty bread. Can be frozen and served at intervals.

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